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7 Indian shuttlers in last 16 of Indian Open

March 25, 2009 20:36 IST

Seven Indian shuttlers, including Saina Nehwal and Anup Sridhar, sailed into the pre-quarter-finals of the Yonex Sunrise Indian Open even as world No 1 Lee Chong Wei crashed out of the tournament in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Women's second-seed Saina thrashed Chew Yen Daphne Ng 21-6, 21-10 in 21 minutes to set up a clash with Hung Yung Chan of Hong Kong in the second round.

Sridhar first hammered qualifier Sachin Kumar Rana 21-3, 21-7 and then thumped fellow-Indian Anushuman Hazarika 21-8, 21-8 in just 18 minutes.

He will face Chun Seang Tan of Malaysia in the third round.

Anand Pawar also won both his matches, first beating qualifier Venkatesh Prasad 21-6, 21-13 and then making short work of China's Kai Wen 24-22, 21-19 to set up a clash with Long Chen in the pre-quarter- finals.

Ninth-seed Arvind Bhat got the better of Chinese Pengyu Du 21-19, 7-21, 21-13 and then beat Yong Zhao Ashton Chen of Singapore 21-10, 21-12 to make it to the third round where he will meet former Olympic gold medallist and second-seed Indonesian Taufik Hidayat.

However, the biggest upset of the day was the ouster of world No 1 Wei, who was beaten by China's Long Chen 21-7, 16-21, 18-21.

It also turned out to be end of the road for last year's runner-up Chetan Anand. The world No 12 won the first round match 14-21, 21-9, 22-20 against Chong Chieh Lok of Malaysia but went down 9-21, 24-22, 8-21 to Wenlong Zhou of China in the second and crashed out of the tournament.

Fourth-seed Maria Kristin Yulianti of Indonesia also found the going tough and was sent packing 21-18, 11-21, 19-21 by Singapore's Beiwen Zhang in the first round.

PC Thulasi, qualifier Ashwini Ponnappa and Sampada Sahastrabuddhe were the other Indian women who reached the pre-quarter-finals.

Saina, up against a lesser known Chew Yen, did not give an inch away and was on top of her rival right from the start. The world No 9 Indian played close to the net and made her opponent dance all over the court.

In the first game Chew tried to go neck and neck initially and came as close as 7-5, but then Saina raced away with the game, pocketing it 21-6.

In the second game, the Malaysian pocketed a couple of early points but could not make much headway as Saina cruised her way to first take the lead at 7-5 and then sealed the match 21-10.

Saina later said the match was much tougher than the scoreline suggests.

"It wasn't an easy match. There were a lot of long rallies and I attacked more. There was drift in the air in the second game but I managed it well. I didn't hit it in the direction of the drift and played some sharp strokes," Saina said.

"This is an important win as it will set the momentum and now that I know the court better, I hope to win the next match," she added.

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